Posts tagged "quiet hospitality"

In Which A Meal Is My Only Goal

Life has been a little weird for me. Maybe weird is a bad description? Maybe unstable is better. Maybe for the first time in my life I am truly grappling with those old words from Paul, “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15 (HCSB). Is the visceral understanding of these...

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Love Listens

When I was a small child, my mother made certain I called my godmother to thank her for the gifts she gave me. Aunt Frances always gave me a piece of my silver pattern, her generous gifts a bit lost on me at the time. My stomach tightened up like a rubber band ball as I picked up the phone to call her each and every July, after the birthday...

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In the Habit of Hospitality

I am allergic to goals and averse to resolutions. I love to dream, but I prefer my dreams in rosy shades of vague. Details and action plans make me tired. Oh, January. Oh, month of optimism and ambition. I love you. But I do not trust you. * Or, perhaps, I do not trust myself. For though I am no setter of goals, I, too, long to turn over that...

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On the Practice of Ruminating to Save Your Sanity

Back home in London, after traveling through five states for a book tour in the US, I stand in the kitchen and gaze through the window, watching pedestrians wrap arms around waists. Attempting to harness warmth that a brisk wind violates, their boots and wool coats reveal any hope of a lingering autumn. Staring at strangers out the window as wine sauce reduces on the stove is required mental work...

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Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that same friend is mom to a houseful of kids. They arrived through birth and adoption...

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A Recipe Box, a Letter and Food Served With Love

Recently, here at the table, Elizabeth wrote this lovely post on spontaneous hospitality.  How often hospitality isn't about a beautiful table and a fabulous menu. It is about our time. Giving of ourselves in ways we might not realize are "hospitable." My mother died in March and as co-executor of the estate, I've spent several weeks at her house...emptying, sorting, throwing out or giving away 90+ years of accumulation. And the...

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The Return Home

Less than a week ago we were eight hours from home vacationing on the shores of the Atlantic. This morning I dropped my daughter at school for her first day of first grade. That means summer break is officially over at our house. My brain and my body aren't sure what to make of the rapid change of pace and scenery. I feel a bit like the rug (or beach towel)...

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When Honesty is Our Invitation

I answer the door in sweatpants and a raggedy old t-shirt. I have three-day unshowered hair scooped up and pulled into a haphazard bun, greasy strands escaping the restraints of my elastic rubber band. I don’t have to swipe lipgloss on or part my lips in a smile. I don’t have to make small talk, I just unhinge the lock and swing the door open without hiding behind it. I...

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3 Reasons to Rest from Hospitality

A few years ago, shortly after I moved to South Carolina, I welcomed my extended family over for dinner during one of their annual summer visits to our resort community. As I was giving my Dad a tour of our beautiful new house, traipsing through the huge master bathroom and delighting in our spacious kitchen, I pointed out how worn the carpet was in most every room. I lamented about...

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The Gift Of Self-Hospitality

My one year old is fast asleep. Reaching for the door, I quietly slip out of the room and take a deep breath. “What shall I do?” Hands frantic and head spinning, I start the kettle to make some tea. By the time my tea is brewed and I’ve sat down with my journal/planner, I’m faced with yet another decision. “Have I really done enough today?” Suddenly that free thirty...

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